It's Prime time.
In December, Boston's Seaport welcomed the area's first outpost of Ocean Prime, a high-end seafood and steak chain with about a dozen locations nationwide. We're always most excited about restaurants with homegrown talent at the helm, but upscale surf and turf is bound to be a hit in Boston. So — what should you know about this newcomer? We've uncovered a few factoids about Ocean Prime that might help make it an upcoming stop on your next Seaport trip. Dive in.
140 Seaport Blvd.; 617-670-1345
"Surf" outnumbers "turf." By a lot.
At Ocean Prime, proteins are weighted heavily toward the "ocean" side of the equation. Between dinner entrees, raw bar, sushi and chowder, there are about 30 different seafood options — compared to six cuts of steak, plus one entree each of chicken, pork and lamb. If you really want to cover your bases, splurge on the "Smoking" Shellfish Tower (market price), a dry ice-adorned, three-tier assemblage of oysters, shrimp, crab legs, lobster meat and more.
Those aren't grill marks.
All prime cuts are broiled at 1200 degrees, never grilled: from the 8-ounce filet mignon all the way up to the 16-ounce ribeye. You'll pair them with tasty add-ons, from black truffle butter to a garlic shrimp scampi. Heads up: the 8-ounce filet is included in a special "Sunday Surf & Turf" menu. Each week guests can pair it with a choice of seafood, plus soup or salad and side, for $55.
Boston's GM is an Aussie athlete.
Well, he was. Nick Foley, general manager of the Boston location, was previously a semi-pro soccer player in his native Australia. He entered the hospitality biz after moving to the States in 2006, and passed through roles at two other high-end steakhouse chains — Capital Grille and Del Frisco's — before landing at Ocean Prime. Whether he can he still pull off a step-over is presently unknown.
There's booze in your soup.
Yes, the bar has 50 wines by the glass, classic cocktails and more creative libations — like the Berries and Bubbles, vodka and champagne with house made sour, marinated berries, and dry ice for a smoking effect. But there's even a little booze in your soup: the French Onion Soup's secret ingredient is a splash of brandy.
The CEO started as a dishwasher.
Restaurateur Cameron Mitchell is a high school drop out. ("You're in good company," said Bill Gates somewhere.) He was introduced to the restaurant industry as a dishwasher, then hopped on the line during a busy shift. He caught the hospitality bug, enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America, and eventually opened his first restaurant in 1993. Now he runs 12 different concepts — including the Ocean Prime chain — with 25 individual locations and is chairman emeritus of the CIA's board of directors. From dropout to head of the class.
It's good for (classy) kids.
If your little one is used to having a silver spoon in mouth and a steak knife in hand, Ocean Prime might be a solid pick for family dinners. Unlike many high-end steakhouses, it actually has a kids' menu (or as they call it, "young adults" menu) that features buttered noodles ($5) and mac n cheese ($6) alongside fancier fare like an 5-ounce filet mignon ($11) and broiled salmon ($8). We also doubt they'll mind some of the sides, like parmesan truffle fries (pictured, $9).
There's a pianist and a patio.
It's hard to tell, because winter, but Ocean Prime does have a seasonal terrace for Spring-through-Fall al fresco dining. And inside a live pianist tickles ivories during dinner service — for an added bit of old-school class and charm.